A number of us view social distancing as forcefully imprisoning ourselves in a jail cell where all we can hear is constant chatter about the coronavirus outbreak.
We are grappling with the difficulties of switching from our everyday routines to staying in our homes, therefore unable to physically spend time with anyone other than the few people who might be living with us. Although this is true, it is necessary to take social distancing seriously.
Here are some ways to maintain mental stability amid social distancing:
Change Your Perspective
This is the #1 thing you absolutely need to do. The media is continuously informing us about how terrible this epidemic is. Although it has consequences, focusing only on the negatives makes social distancing very difficult. The more we focus on negatives, the worse we feel. We CHOOSE to focus on the negatives rather than the positives. We can alter that choice!
Let’s take a moment to list five positives of social distancing. Pause, take out a piece of paper and write them down.
If you are struggling to think of anything, below are some examples:
- Saving money on gas
- Spending quality time with your family at home – time you may not typically have
- Having time to clean things you haven’t cleaned in years
- Spending time in nature
- Having time to self-reflect
Get a New Hobby (or Restart Old Hobby)
If you have extra time on your hands, learn a new skill or hobby that you have been thinking about trying. Some ideas include practicing new hair or makeup styles, making YouTube videos to share on a topic you love, or starting a blog or podcast to share with your friends and family.
You can also hop into a time machine and take it back to a place of simplicity and enjoyment by bringing out an old hobby. I have spent time crafting with my Circuit, which I haven’t had time to do in months. My friend started playing music and singing again, which has taken a back burner in her life for years. When she took out her guitar, her mind flooded with memories and joyous feelings from the past.
Spend time in nature
Nature is our personal monastery. It is available to us anytime, anywhere, for a zero dollar fee. Nature is the best place to perform a self-assessment and re-center your values. Author Florence Williams wrote a book discussing the benefits of nature called, the Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative.She began researching existing theories related to nature and its impact on humans. She found that nature improves our happiness and creativity.
I myself have been walking 1-2 times per day to keep myself busy. I have been able to re-center my values, brainstorm business ideas, and have experienced increased level of joy.
Exercise is a consistent result when searching for ways to relieve stress and maintain mental stability. Exercise is also found to help individuals feel more energized throughout their day!
Gyms are closed, but the outdoors are wide open! Taking a walk or a run around your neighborhood are great options. If you aren’t a fan of walking or running, there are amazing and FREE workout videos on YouTube. My favorite YouTube workout channels are Yoga with Adriene and Popsugar Fitness. Check them out by clicking the hyperlink!
Sign Off Social Media
Social Media is like smoking cigarettes. A number of sources have found links between heavy social media usage and higher rates of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. Although many individuals are well aware of these harmful impacts, we continue to scroll for hours upon hours. Instead of spending your extra time on social media, you may want to watch a movie, read, craft, or do almost anything else.
Social media is consumed with depressing news
on the effects of the Coronavirus. As mentioned earlier, we don’t want these
negativities to consume our thoughts. Of course it is important to be informed,
but we don’t need to constantly read this information. Everything will get
figured out. This too shall pass.
 Social Media and Mental Health, HelpGuide.com
Have a Dance Party
Have you ever been to a concert where you are singing and dancing to your favorite song without a care in the world? Time stops and all responsibilities vanish in these moments. This is the exact reason why I fell in love with attending concerts.
I started implementing this feeling into my everyday life. Each morning, I open my Thumbprint Radio on Pandora, turn it up to full volume, and jam out to a song. I will start dancing in my kitchen, move to my living room, then my dining room, and all around the house. I even started getting my mom, dad, and boyfriend to dance with me!
Embrace your inner Mr. Clean! Clean out your landscaping, clean your closet (& bring your clothes to a local donation bin), wash your comforter, dust all those places that haven’t been touched since you moved into your house 10 years ago, and shred the papers that you’ve been keeping for 5 years because you thought “what if I need these later?”
Hopefully these tips will keep you busy and help you maintain mental stability amid the Coronavirus social distancing.